“Americans have reached a point where ignorance, especially of anything related to public policy, is an actual virtue,” the scholar Tom Nichols writes in his timely new book, “The Death of Expertise.” “To reject the advice of experts is to assert autonomy, a way for Americans to insulate their increasingly fragile egos from ever being told they’re wrong about anything. It is a new Declaration of Independence: No longer do we hold these truths to be self-evident, we hold all truths to be self-evident, even the ones that aren’t true. All things are knowable and every opinion on any subject is as good as any other.”
The same seems to be permeating bioscience and medicine and the inevitable consequence will be the continued commodization of sick care with the patient experience as a customer becoming more important than the value of care delivered to a patient.
Even worse, like climbing walls and gourmet chefs in "universities" competing for the tuition dollar, the arms and experience race is vying for patient customers as hospitals become less and less relevant.
- The resurgence of the measles epidemic due to religious objections and bogus science about the correlation with autism.
- Commodity care and convenience care.
- Doctor and hospital beauty pageants based on Yelp and Google likes.
- The rise of faith based medical consumer products , like supplements and the latest darling, CBD.
- The myth of consumerism.
- Selling to patient "customers".
- Dismissing science.
- Trusting Dr. Google more that whatshername who saw you on that telemedicine gadget.
- Pitfalls in measuring the doctor-patient relationship.
- The pitfalls of DIY medicine.
The root cause of the death of expertise is the lack of trust. The problem with the death of medical experience is that to differentiate a commoditized product, companies and clinicians will revert to price and experience. Unfortunately that has little or nothing to do with the quality of the outcomes. Making it enjoyable doing something that is worthless represents about $1T of the US healthcare spend.
Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA is the President and CEO of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs on Twitter@ArlenMD.